San Diegans are coming together to remember the victims of the Boston Marathon with a special run at De Anza Cove in Mission Bay.
On Monday at 6 p.m., hundreds of local runners plan to gather at 2750 De Anza Rd. for the “Boston Strong San Diego Run" (See map below for location).
Local Jenn Simpson, a member of VAVi's San Diego Running Club, is organizing the event. She's created a Facebook group and event page for the run and as of 12:30 p.m. Friday, more than 800 people had signed up to attend, with thousands more invited to join.
Simpson says the run is open to anyone and everyone, and is meant to show support and solidarity for Boston Marathon runners and the victims in Monday’s horrific twin explosions near the Boston Marathon finish line.
"This run is open to all. It's about San Diego getting together and saying we care about Boston, and what happened there is not okay," Simpson told NBC 7 on Thursday.
According to Simpson, the idea for the local run for Boston came from the pavementrunner.com website, which urges communities everywhere to organize their own “Boston Strong” runs.
The event is meant to unite people and show strength, as well as run for those who were unable to finish the Boston Marathon or those that may never run again following the terror in Boston.
“A run for us to try and make sense of the tragedy that has forever changed something we love,” the pavementrunner.com website states.
For Simpson, the Boston Strong San Diego Run is truly personal.
She says a few of her friends were running in Monday's Boston Marathon when the bombs erupted.
Like so many Americans, Simpson says she worried for hours over the safety of her friends. Eventually, they were able to check-in and confirm they were alright.
"I felt so upset. So upset for the people who couldn't finish the race and for the spectators who were injured," Simpson added.
Simpson -- who ran her first half marathon this past March in San Diego and is participating in the La Jolla Half Marathon on Apr. 28 -- says Monday's De Anza Cove run is not just in support of fellow runners, but also to show thanks and support to marathon spectators.
"Spectators are the people that truly make our sport awesome. They're always there to push you, cheer for you, make you smile with signs of encouragement when you feel like you can't go on," said Simpson. "They're exactly what you need to keep moving on."
With the Boston Strong San Diego Run growing by the minute, Simpson told NBC 7 she has reached out to Mayor Bob Filner's office and the City of San Diego for a special events permit.
"We are hoping to have that all figured out by Friday morning," she explained.
On Friday, Simpson told NBC 7 the city had cleared the run and given the greenlight for runners to meet at De Anza Cove Monday evening.
Simpson says she also invited Filner to attend the Boston Strong San Diego Run.
A second local runner, Melissa Kirkham, has also stepped in to spearhead the event with Simpson, which Simpson says should help keep everything organized and running smoothly.
To learn more about Monday’s Boston Strong San Diego run, click here.